New Server for Home

My latest project involves a Dell Poweredge 1800 Tower.
It has an Intel Xeon 3.0 Ghz Processor with 4GB of RAM. It came with a SATA RAID controller with 3 x 250GB 10k SATA drives in a RAID 5 configuration. Now like most people playing with old hardware i wanted to run Server 2008 R2 with some room for expansion to include Exchange 2010 and maybe OCS 2010. However the OS would not install on the Array. I added the RAID controller drivers but the O/S Installation would not show the array as a possible location to install the O/S.

So i removed 1 HDD from the array and connected it to the SATA on board controller. I installed Server 2008 R2 successfully and installed the Dell Open-Manage software. This told me that my SATA RAID controller was in need of a firmware upgrade which i applied using the Rev 02 as the initial one failed to work. Once the O/S was online i installed the SATA RAID controller drivers and added 3 x 1TB SATA Drives in RAID 5.

The process of creating this array is taking forever. Even now, 3 hours later, the percentage is at 3. 3% complete and any attempts to copy data to this array mean slowing that down and a crippling 3MB/s transfer rate.

*Update* the raid build took a total of 4 days.This was made worse by the fact that when i try transfer files to the array i get a minuscule 5MB/s. This combined with the fact that i have no other SATA Raid card to use other than the on board one in my PC means i am retiring this project as a file server/central storage.

Instead i installed AD on the server and exchange 2010 which was surprisingly fast. In my attempts to install Sharepoint 2010 i ran into errors that are due to low server specs, lack of RAM and CPU and most likely slow HDD. While the server takes DDR2 it will not boot with standard desktop ram. I’m going to keep looking for an alternative setup, perhaps another desktop PC second hand with a SATA Intel Raid controller on the motherboard, should be simple enough with a dual/quad core to keep it quiet which is after all the main reason for not leaving the array in my desktop since that is water cooled and I’m not happy leaving it on 24/7.

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